China reaffirms '1992 consensus' after Tsai's re-election - Focus Taiwan

China reaffirms '1992 consensus' after Tsai's re-election

Taipei, Jan. 15 (CNA) China on Wednesday officially responded to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) proposal for positive cross-strait interactions after her re-election, by reaffirming its adherence to the "1992 consensus."

China's Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光) said at the first news conference held by the office since Tsai won a second term as Taiwan's president on Saturday that the "1992 consensus" must be adhered to for the development of cross-strait relations. "Shaking a mountain is easy, rocking the '1992 consensus' is difficult," Ma added.

In her acceptance speech, Tsai said that peace, parity, democracy, and dialogue are the key to positive cross-strait interactions and long-term stable development.

In response, Ma said that when Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party (DDP) took office in 2016, it refused to recognize the consensus. This is the root cause of the deterioration in cross-strait relations, suspension of cross-strait negotiations and the more complicated and serious situation across the strait, he added.

Noting that the "1992 consensus" is key to the peaceful development of cross-strait relations, Ma said that Taiwan's Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party have since 2005 insisted on strengthening cross-strait exchange and cooperation to promote peaceful development of cross-strait relations based on the political foundation of the consensus and opposition to Taiwan independence and have achieved good results in this regard.

The "1992 consensus" refers to a tacit understanding reached in 1992 between the then KMT government and the Chinese government.

The consensus has been consistently interpreted by the KMT as both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledging there is only "one China" with each free to interpret what "China" means.

However, Beijing has never publicly recognized the second part of the KMT interpretation.

Ma also said that "Taiwan independence secessionist forces" are the biggest threat to cross-strait peace and stability and could cause the greatest harm to the wellbeing of people on the two sides of the strait.

The tide of the times -- the cross-strait situation moving toward peace and stability and cross-strait relations continuing to move forward -- cannot be stopped by any force or any individual, Ma indicated.

Taiwan's future lies in national reunification and the well-being of its people in national rejuvenation, Ma said, adding that Taiwanese compatriots are part of the Chinese people and Taiwan's future should be decided by all the Chinese people.

However, in addition to the DPP's refusal to recognize the consensus, some younger members of the KMT have recently called on the party to review its cross-strait policy and the consensus and establish a new cross-strait discourse.

Commenting on this matter, Ma said that China's development and growth will be crucial for the future direction of cross-strait relations, adding that he believed following the mainland's further development, people on the two sides will grow closer and people in Taiwan will be more objective about the consensus.

Ma said that Beijing will not turn its back on Taiwan's young people and will continue to fulfill the Taiwan policy of upholding "one country, two systems," the "one China" principle and advancing peaceful reunification to promote peaceful development of cross-strait relations, laid out by Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in a speech delivered on Jan. 2, 2019.

Ma stressed that on the basis of adhering to the "one-China" principle, there will be no obstacles in exchanges between political parties and groups in Taiwan and the mainland.

Since 2016, Beijing has rolled out a series of incentives for Taiwanese to work, study and invest in China to promote economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation between the two sides, which treat Taiwanese people the same as the Chinese population, according to Ma.

He said the Chinese government will continue to promote communication and exchanges between young people on the two sides by launching new incentive measures.

Currently, about 2 million Taiwanese live, work or attend schools in China.

(By Chang Shu-ling, Yang Sheng-ju and Evelyn Kao)

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